I first started seeing a Therapist at the age of 23; I didn’t really know what they did or what the purpose was, really my vision of therapy was what I’d learnt from Good Will Hunting.
I enjoyed my sessions, the chats we had, and the feeling of relief after speaking to a complete stranger.
A stranger, who usually sat there, listened to my mumblings found a way through his soothing and calming voice to keep my spirits alive for another day.
Time had come for Therapy to a take a new role, my therapist wanted me to consider medication.
As it was explained at the time to me, I was suffering from what was described to me as a Mild-Anxiety Disorder.
I didn’t do my research, didn’t really know much about medication.
Except that a lot of people on campus really seemed to enjoy them.
So I figured, why not? Let’s give it a shot.
What was a once described to me as a Mild case of an Anxiety Disorder is today a pile of Crippling Depression and Anxiousness that feels like my life would collapse if my pill container went missing even a few minutes.
I always travel with it, as a matter of fact I usually have backup medication stored in my travel bag just to make sure I always have my medication with me.
So how did this experiment with medication, which was only ever meant to last a few months turn into years of reliance and what to me feels now like an addiction?
Why do Psychiatrists find it so hard to describe medication?
I wasn’t the first guinea pig as I’d come to later realise; there were many others, much like myself, drugged up and forced into a situation that we weren’t quite sure how to get out of.
Whilst, the rest of those we knew who used our medications for recreational purposes; we failed to see any recreation in it.
There was no hope.
It feels like a crutch, because it is.
They say never quit Psychiatric Drugs Cold-Turkey; because it can have some damaging effects.
When I first got prescribed a combination of Anti-Depressants and Diazepam (A type of Benzodiazepine, a sort of tranquilliser), it felt like my mood swings got worse.
I was erratic, had nightmares, couldn’t focus, and developed memory problems.
The doctors assured me it would get better, that once the medication took their full effect — I’d be okay.
So it went on, months turned into a year, and I finally decided I needed to find someone to help explain to me why I couldn’t just taper off these medications.
I didn’t want to rely on these crutches anymore.
Help wasn’t easy to find.
It felt as though once the doctors got us hooked, they figured they’d done their job well and there was no reason to stop something that continues to work.
But as I explained, taking medication that my parents started taking in their 50s in my mid 20s does not appear to be a healthy sign.
I’ve started to worry now, as I grow older.
I am now Two and Half Decades Old. Silver Jubilee.
Though it feels like I’m a lot older, slower, and quite dull.
On days that I am on my medication and they’re in full effect, life seems fine as it slowly passes by me and I can almost make out shapes from cigarette smoke.
But it doesn’t seem like a way to be living.
Constantly worrying about when the time will come from me to swallow another pill; I keep an app active on my phone to remind me it’s time.
Travelling with Prescription drugs isn’t easy either; I always worry I’ll lose my Prescription or fail to get it filled in a different country — or worse the medication that I travel with might be detained by customs.
I worry what I would do in that situation.
Cry for help, I suppose?
But to whom, I imagine?
The doctors? The trusty therapist that assured me that one day I will be on my way and that these medications were just give me a boost for a short period of time.
I feel now that maybe that time may never come.
And I’ll the rest of my life, depending upon my pill-pack that has more control over me than I do over it.
Controlling my every move, reminding me to refill it in time, make sure it’s there when I need it.
Make extra sure that there are spares in case I lose it.
Or worse, face my worst nightmares come to life as I realise I’ll always be a prisoner to these tiny blue pills.
Waking me up and Putting me to sleep.
Telling me to stop over-thinking it.
Letting me know that there’s a plan.
Plan to keep me moving long enough that I forget how it ever felt not being on them.
Of how one step of courage could’ve maybe changed the course of my dependance.
Of how if only I’d spoken to other people about their experiences before jumping on the prescription-bandwagon; I could’ve been at Drunk’n Donuts living the dream.